Friday, April 25, 2008

Mini-Interview: EXITMUSIC

Left off center from most local LA indie rock and pop are EXITMUSIC, a preternaturally attractive husband and wife team who create music that's a mix of The Cranes, Mazzy Star, and Tom Waits... a midnight carnival cavalcade, all throaty and dark and full of intrigue.

We spoke to them both -- Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church -- recently to find out more about their musical co-production.

Which came first: the relationship or the band? How did you meet? And how did you start playing together?

A: Our relationship came first. We met on a train when we were both eighteen. There really was this moment of recognition between us - the kind you feel foolish to believe in until you experience it and it can no longer be denied. We spent three days together and then we went home. I, to New York. Devon to Winnipeg.

He wrote me some poems but I never wrote back... I still don't know why, but I guess now it doesn't even matter now.... cause I did write back... eventually. It just took three years.

Then there came a blur of written letters and and phone calls and one day he lived with me and we kept it that way.

D: We started playing together almost immediately... but EXITMUSIC came to be shaped in the later part of 2003 - after we'd moved to LA. The name came while watching 2001 and the movie ends with "thus spake zarathustra" - which was what I was reading on the train and looked up from to see Aleksa for the first time - and the words "Exit Music" in big letters...

That's a good story. How would you describe your music, if pressed?

A: Other...

D: If pressed...

A&D: Other.

What's it like playing in a band with married partner?

It's beautiful and it's intense.

What's your song-writing process like? Do you write music together at home?

D: We write at home. We wrote the whole album together.

A: That was the point.

D: To sort of mingle our energies in this alchemical process. So everything, lyrics, music, beats, weird little sounds - we chose them all together.

You home-recorded and self-produced your album The Decline of the West, right? What was that process like? How long did it take?

D: We record as we write. It was a process of
discovery, both creative and technological. Neither of us had any recording experience beyond messing around with a four-track, so it took some time - about three years.

A: But if it took longer we would have given it that time. You see, we didn't start out thinking we want to put out an album.... we didn't even want to play live for the longest time... writing songs was just something we were doing. And at a certain point we knew we had something true and special and worthy.

How did your video come together?

D: That was pretty amazing. Aleksa had auditioned for the director, Matthew Wilder, for his film Your Name Here which is a crazy picture with Bill Pullman about a sci-fi writer named William J Frick. He wound up coming to our very first show at Bordello and offering his services for the video.

Then he put together this cast of carnival folk and led us to a giant warehouse filled with all kinds of crazy crap and shot this six-minute video which encompasses all of American history in one uninterrupted take. There's no cuts in that video.

Aleksa, your "day job" is acting in shows like The Sopranos and films like Before The Devil Knows You're Dead. What are you working on now?

I have a movie that is just in it's final editing days... It is presently called Baker. It's an amazing script, beautifully written with a lot of depth. A thriller, but in the classical sense, written and directed by Laura Lopez.

Then I have a few projects lined up to go but no official start dates so... anything can happen.

What's next for the band? Touring, more recording, a residency?

A & D: We have an amazing new drummer, Dave Mcfarland, who was the cinematographer on our video. So we're really working on taking the live show to the next level.

We're also working on a new batch of songs. Touring - definitely sometime this year. We have a show at Pehrspace on the 3rd of May with The Transmissions and Avi Buffalo, and one at Spaceland on the 26th with Mezzanine Owls.

Aleksa is shooting in June, but then we have the big Let's Independent! show in July with eskimohunter and The Black Kites. And more videos!

One last question: Who are you listening to these days?

Roberto Murolo, who's a Neapolitan folk singer. And Bob Dylan's Albert Hall concert with the Hawks.

That's it. Thanks for your time!

A & D: Thank you even more.

- The Following Winds MP3


Blogger Tami Jo said...

great interview. proud of my little brother, Devon, following his heart and living a dream.

9:55 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home